Author: A young person in Totnes
I think there’s a lot of bad discussion surrounding the issue around social media and its effect on young people. I don’t think banning all kids from social media and the internet until they turn 18 is the solution and it’s strange that people act that way.
I don’t interact or engage with pointless discourse and drama
Not to mention, there is a massive misconception as to how the average young person interacts with the internet. Especially with teenage girls. I’ve seen a lot of assumptions that any teen girl who likes to spend a lot of their time online will spend it all looking at things like beauty products and makeup influencers, and that the only reason a young girl would be on the internet is to look at these things, thus giving them insecurities and body issues due to the harsh beauty standards that exist on the internet. I don’t think that is true for a LOT of teenage girls.
I know many people who do or have identified as a girl including me who just do not use the internet for things like that. It’s wrong to assume that all teenagers are ignorant and are incapable of using the internet in a good and productive manner. I know a lot of people my age all over the world who use sites like twitter, instagram, tiktok, tumblr who I believe approach it in a positive way instead of the negative one, people act like all kids do ! I do not post my face, or use my real name, I block people who post things that upset me, I don’t interact or engage with pointless discourse and drama, and I am very careful about letting people I don’t know message or try to talk to me. I spend a lot of time on social media and most of it is just looking at funny images, cool art and interesting posts for the video games and shows that I like.
A safe place?
Social media can be a good way for kids who don’t feel they fit in or get bullied in real life to find other people who have similar interests. I and many teenagers who have “uncool” or niche interests have faced the problem of not finding anyone in real life who even knows about the topics and things we like, or are bullied for liking them because our peers think it’s dumb. Yet the internet can be a great place to find posts all over the world from people who enjoy the same things as us.
It’s wrong to assume that all teenagers are ignorant
I believe there are a lot of issues with social media, especially with young people. But I think the way people approach this topic is bad, as nobody thinks about the tons of young people who use social media and the internet in a healthy manner, and banning the internet for young people will just take away a good outlet for kids who are hurting and use the internet as a genuine, healthy outlet.
Whilst the UK has not made any steps to ban internet and social media apps for under 18’s . Although there has been a ban on Tik Tok for government phones, that’s unrelated, I think it is a very bad idea and instead of getting rid of it, teaching better and more updated internet safety in schools is a much better solution.
This excellent article was written anonymously by a member of the youth group at Rushbrook – Totnes Pulse is actively encouraging people of a younger generation to write about their thoughts and issues that affect them. If you would like to express yourself here, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.